It’s been a long run since Google announced YouTube Music as a replacement for their Play Music service back in 2018. Google has copped a bit of flack for the slow progress, but it’s ramping up now with Google today announcing you can transfer your Google Play Music library to YouTube Music with just one click.
The process is simple, with a simple tap of the ‘Transfer’ button in the YouTube Music app starting the process. The transfer can take a few hours but you can track the progress in the app or just wait for a notification and email when it’s completed.
Google will transfer all your uploaded music, as well as playlists, curated stations, likes and dislikes and your personal taste preferences from Google Play Music, to YouTube Music.
Your personal taste preferences are an interesting one, but they’re being transferred so that Google can algorithmically suggest music for you on the YouTube Music home screen.
Moving to YouTube Music has been a bit of a controversial move for hardcore fans, but Google has been listening to the feedback and included some nice updates to the service:
- Playlist Creation: We’ve increased playlist length from 1,000 to 5,000 songs to make room for even more of your favorites songs.
- Uploads: You can listen to your uploaded and purchased music from Google Play Music after your transfer, or add up to 100,000 personal tracks to your library in YouTube Music (an increase of more than 50,000 compared to Google Play Music).
- Offline listening: Paying members can download any song, playlist, music video or let smart downloads (Android only for now) do it for you so you always have something to listen to, even when you don’t have service.
- Lyrics: Lyrics offer highly visible access to follow along to tracks.
- Explore Tab: An all-new Explore tab offering one go-to place to discover new music and YouTube Music’s vast catalog of playlists through New Releases and Moods & Genres sections.
While there’s some nice improvements there, the 10 device authorisation/de-authorisation limit per year is still in place. Older devices drop off the list, but if you regularly change devices you’ll still have to contend with this annoying limitation.
The requirement to even click a button at all rather than just have all your data appear is due to legal requirements Google Play Music both having different contracts with the record labels according to a Google spokesperson. Google Play Music both having different contracts with the record labels so to facilitate the setup, we need to click a button.
For now, Google Play Music and YouTube Music will coexist – though not on your home screen with the Google Play Music replaced by YouTube Music late last year. Google says users will continue to have access to both services in order to ensure everyone has time to transfer their content and get used to YouTube Music – though the death knell is close for Google Play Music with Google advising access will only last until ‘later this year’.
Google is doing a pretty good job about gently pushing people over to YouTube Music with continuing improvements to the app; they’re also continuing to offer the same price for existing Google Play Music users when they transfer to YouTube Music.
If you’re not already a subscriber you can check out YouTube Music with an ad-supported version for free, or pay $11.99/month for the ad-free experience, if you want some YouTube Premium which gives you an ad-free experience, background listening and offline playback across all of YouTube you can get that for $14.99/month. You can also try out the YouTube Premium family plan for $22.99/month offering access to up to 6 accounts.
Google is making a hard push with YouTube, and it’s got some legs. The updated features in the YouTube Music app are enough to make me have another look.